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She's An Outsider

Jakle Survives Injury, Adventure

November 13, 1998|MIKE BRESNAHAN

There she was, in a rain forest in Costa Rica, all by herself with a 40-foot waterfall roaring nearby.

Anne Jakle had very little food and was in a hurry to protect herself from a 16-hour monsoon that would hit within an hour and--here's the kicker--she was there by choice.

Jakle, who plays outside hitter for Harvard-Westlake High, was participating in a 24-hour solo survival adventure, part of a two-week stay in Costa Rica last summer.

Tour guides from Outward Bound, a global adventure company, as part of the program, left Jakle in the forest with a sleeping bag, a tarp, a candle and a few handfuls of raisins and peanuts. Her drinking water was supplied by an unpolluted stream.

"I wasn't really afraid," Jakle said. "Compared to L.A., it was safe at night. There weren't really any big animals or anything. It was extremely peaceful."

Jakle, a senior at Harvard-Westlake, spent most of her time writing in a journal and included some thoughts on where she wanted to attend college. Not surprisingly, she focused on Dartmouth, a rustic Ivy League school located in Hanover, N.H.

"It's kind of in the middle of nowhere and I like that," said Jakle, who finds out next month if she has been accepted to Dartmouth. "Right now, I'm kind of like a wilderness woman living in the city."

Last year, Jakle must have felt like she was in volleyball limbo.

She suffered a severely sprained left ankle in the Wolverines' first home match and missed every league match except for the regular-season finale.

She sat on the bench. And sat some more. And stewed.

"At the time, it was extremely frustrating," the 6-foot-1 Jakle said. "I'd never had an injury before. But sitting on the sidelines was, in a way, good for me. I made all these resolutions to always try harder in practice and I've kept them up."

Thanks in large part to Jakle, the top-seeded Wolverines (16-4) are expected to win the Southern Section Division III-A championship and advance deep into the state tournament.

It always helps to have a solo survivor on the team.

*

Harvard-Westlake, Village Christian and St. Bonaventure have had time to rest after the regular season. Plenty of time.

Because of first-round byes, the teams don't play in the section playoffs until Saturday--nearly 1 1/2 weeks after their last matches.

"It's a little tough because they're a little edgy, but we've had some good workouts," Coach Jess Quiroz of Harvard-Westlake said.

*

Sylmar, seeded No. 3 in the City Championship playoffs, nearly made a first-round exit on Monday.

The Spartans (13-1) struggled with No. 14 El Camino Real (6-7), winning the fifth game, 16-14.

The Spartans led the fourth game, 11-5, before El Camino Real scored the last 10 points.

"We were rolling right along in a fairly comfortable position until that happened," Coach Bob Thomson of Sylmar said. "We were lucky to squeak it out."

*

Before Alemany played Calabasas in a first-round Division III-AA volleyball match Thursday night, members of Fire Station No. 75 created a good-luck banner for Alemany and made a campus appearance during lunchtime.

Capt. Steve Ruda, whose step-daughter, Gina Zambetti, plays for Alemany, wanted to do something unusual for the team.

"We wanted to rally them in their time of need," Ruda said.

Now that's a good way to get fired up.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Top 10

Rankings of girls' volleyball teams from the region

*--*

RK LW School (League) 1 1 Royal (Marmonte) 2 2 Harvard-Westlake (Mission) 3 3 Calabasas (Frontier) 4 4 Westlake (Marmonte) 5 5 La Reina (Tri-Valley) 6 6 Buena (Channel) 7 7 Village Christian (Alpha) 8 8 Highland (Golden) 9 9 Poly (Valley Pac-8) 10 10 Notre Dame (Mission)

*--*

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